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Alive, Fit & Free: Senior Wellness Programs

Alive, Fit & Free: Senior Wellness Program was created for clients of Assisted and Independent Living Facilities. These are implemented through direct partnerships and collaborations with Assisted and Independent Living Facilities, giving you the power to incorporate the results and data from our program into other aspects of your business. We work with each residence individually to determine how we can best contribute to improving your service to your clients as well as improve your business.

At the core of the program is the passion to revive quality of life in seniors. This involves improving their day to day wellness with exercises that improve balance, breathing, walking, and healthy eating, and pairing those exercises with practices that improve their mental and emotional well-being - increasing memory, reducing depression, anxiety, and loneliness, and improving overall happiness. Most importantly, we provide a safe social environment to interact in a supportive community.

We would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us to see how we can optimize your clients’ wellness.

Why Dance?

Two of our core elements are dance and movement patterns, which are incorporated into every class, as they improve quality of life in many aspects. This includes improving mood, visual recognition, and decision-making, reducing stress and memory loss, and greatly reducing risk of dementia (according to a recent Harvard study). We pair these with balance techniques, cardio, strength and flexibility training. Together, this not only strengthens the physical body, but also provides a greater degree of mobility, enhances cognitive neural functions, increases energy, reduces depression, slows down and prevents memory loss, and builds confidence.

As was noted in a 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, dance has the ability to decidedly improve brain health. 

"The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.  They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect.  Other activities had none. 

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.

There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing. 

  • Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia

  • Bicycling and swimming - 0%

  • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%

  • Playing golf - 0%

  • Dancing frequently - 76%. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.”

https://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm

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Results 

Preliminary results we have seen among our regular students:

  • Regular students remember the music and patterns we use

  • Balance is enhanced as we do specific patterns to facilitate a strong foundation and coordination through functional moves

  • Social interaction increases through group participation

  • Depression is alleviated

  • Physical strength is increased

  • Cardio vascular capacity is increased

  • Flexibility is increased

  • Endurance is increased

  • Energy enhanced

  • Parkinson’s residents have noticed less shaking and are more alert